Friday, January 30, 2015

Little Loser's Lottery: Part 10 (aka "Coal Not Dole!")

Good evening to you, dear friends,

shame on me, but to be absolutely frank to you Little Loser had picked this one quite while ago, in fact immediately right after George commented on the last post, saying another pick from him would meet with his approval.

As I mentioned previously, I always enjoyed Little Loser doing this job a great deal, because normally his picks turned out to be rather impressive. And, you will be delighted to read, he didn't fail this time either!

As usually I pushed him to where the compilations are being stored and he came up with a little gem from 1987, a 6 track "Miners Benefit EP" issued by the 'Wake Up' fanzine, cleverly titled "Wake Up" as well on this occasion. And on Wake Up Records, too ...

Now, I could start and bother the few of you too young to know by going deeply into mid Eighties UK politics and the impact it had on us German teenagers, also - and perhaps especially - musicwise. But then again the five farts who read this blog are around fifty years of age anway and thus could tell you a tale or two about what happened back then better than I can, so why should I bother?

Nevertheless there might be small chance that the songs from this EP might be new to you, well, at least these versions of the songs. The record features the crème de la crème of the leftwing UK music scene from 1986, or, if you'd rather, all four members: Billy Bragg, The Neurotics, The Redskins and Attila The Stockbroker. All of them were invited to take part in the "Lieder Sommer Festival" which was held back in 1986 in the GDR. I don't know anything about the rest of the line-up, but I'm willing to have a small bet that they blew the East German artists off the stage, no doubt about that!

Of course, as it always is the case, the music is the main thing, and , as announced, some very fine versions of common tunes are about to come: The Redskins do Billy Bragg ("a song by Neil Kinnock's publicity officer", now isn't that simply marvellous?!), Billy Bragg does Sam Cooke, The Neurotics do themselves, so does Attila, and the bulk of them do The Clash ... well, they try to, but at least they all end together! Enjoy:


No, not my copy, mine is VG to VG+!


mp3: The Redskins - 'Levi Stubbs' Tears' (live at The Alabama, Munich, 15.09.'86)
mp3: Billy Bragg - 'A Change Is Gonna Come' (live in East Berlin, August '86)
mp3: The Neurotics - 'This Fragile Life' (live in East Berlin, August '86)
mp3: Attila The Stockbroker - '40 Years' ('87)
mp3: Billy Bragg with Wiggy, The Neurotics and Attila The Stockbroker - 'Garageland' ((the encore) live in East Berlin, August '86)

I've played this record to death within the last 28 years , which, to my great dismay, you will be able to tell by yourself by the surface noise. But don't let that put you off, the tunes really are worth downloading! They've given a lot to me over the years and so did the thick tour booklet that accompanied the record: it made me change my views about the GDR, about Tory politics in the UK and, most importantly, perhaps it even taught me not to be so fucking short-sighted in believing everything I would read in the press. These days, with Internet and immediate access to everything, this might not seem very important. But back then, you know, "cold war" was not just a phrase, it was something which more or less scared you on a daily basis, because by and large you had no choice other than to read the wrong papers which would not stop to tell you that Russia is the devil ... which these days gives you a nice déjà-vu, albeit under different circumstances.

Enough of that, I do hope you enjoyed the tunes. Let me know and I will tell Little Loser!

Take good care,

Dirk

5 comments:

TheRobster said...

Good stuff. You're right about the powers that be telling us the Russkies were the enemy in the 80s. So paralysed were we by this fear, we failed to notice the enemy within.

The parallels to today are remarkable. Shame we don't have a Billy Bragg to sing about it.

Brian said...

Dirk, Great to hear from you, and your timing is spot on as I just finished the section in Tracey Thorn's book about the benefits for the miners earlier today. A tip of the cap to the Robster for telling it like it is too. Looking forward to listening to these. Now tell your little one to pick up the pace on these selections. It has been far too long. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Good work Dirk.
Swiss Adam

charity chic said...

Good to see you and little Loser back Dirk

george said...

It's about time we had something from you. I don't recall ever seeing this particular EP. Quality!